Putting in place a pro bono policy reminds us of our Rule 6.1 aspirations and makes clear to everyone the value of pro bono service, while outlining the specifics of how each firm draws a framework around pro bono practice.  Thank you to the firms who have authorized us to share their policy to inspire others.

Pro Bono Policy Best Practices

Review Rule 6.1.

Assess local areas of need, firm interests, and outline your philosophy of pro bono.

Establish an hours-of-service requirement from 20-60 hours per year.

  • Make sure it includes all members of your firm and there is support from the top.
  • Decide if and how billable hour credits will be handled.
  • Present an alternative in lieu of pro bono.  Donating $500 is suggested in Rule 6.1.  This can be done through the State Bar of Nevada dues check off; the Nevada Bar Foundation; an organization or group that provides pro bono legal services to persons of limited means; or Nevada Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission ONE Campaign. Donate now through the Nevada Bar Foundation by selecting “Dedicated,” “Pro Bono.”

However simple or complex, write your plan down and communicate it.

Use the resources of legal aid organizations.  From malpractice insurance to free CLE, a wide variety of support is available.

Report your pro bono contributions on the State Bar Of Nevada’s annual Mandatory Report of Pro Bono, and share with the Nevada Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission for recognition, including in Nevada Lawyer magazine.

Finally, be sure to celebrate and thank those responsible for pro bono successes in-house with the whole team.

Other considerations:

Consider signing on to the Pro Bono Institute’s pro bono challenge, devoting 3% of the firm’s total billable hours or 60 hours per attorney to pro bono work.

Other resources:

Ballard Spahr Pro Bono FAQ

Nevada Pro Bono Survey 2018 – Access to Justice Commission

National Pro Bono Survey 2018 – American Bar Association

Want to take a pro bono case? Volunteer!

If your firm would like to include your pro bono policy on this page, please email atj@nvbar.org.